Piper Fellowship Recipients
2010 Piper Fellows Sunnee O’Rork
“As Thomas Merton once said, ‘Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.’ I believe the Arizona Museum for Youth is a very unique place for children to do that – to learn about art and to express their creativity.”
– Sunnee O’Rork, Arizona Museum for Youth (AMY)
Sunnee O’Rork grew up on Cape Cod and as a girl experienced the power of art through the creativity of her family. “The sense of self worth, joy and sharing of my creations especially with my dad has been one of my inner treasures that has sustained me throughout my life.” Since 2005 she has had a 30-year career in the arts. Her early experience was working in traditional museums, yet for the last five years she has headed AMY (Arizona Museum for Youth)—a hybrid of the best of an art museum and the best of a children’s museum. Her dream is to have this unique museum adopt a larger scope providing more services and quality programs to families.
With her Piper Fellowship, Sunnee will visit outstanding children’s museums in Houston, the Twin Cities, Indianapolis, New York City and San Jose, California, to discover model practices at those museums, find potential enhancements of AMY’s services and collect information to expand the museum’s exhibition department. Her goal is to develop a business plan to create traveling exhibitions and launch a new revenue stream for AMY. She will attend a five-day MBA seminar at the American Management Association in the Bay area and then take several days at a cottage in Point Reyes to assimilate what she has learned and write the business plan.
2010 Piper Fellow Martin Quintana
“It is my humble, hard-working upbringing that gives me the passion and drive to help others and to work in the nonprofit community, as I have experienced directly the positive impact that helping others can make.”
– Martin Quintana, Chicanos Por La Causa
Martin Quintana began his nonprofit career at Chicanos Por La Causa in 1998 after working more than 10 years in the corporate world. He left the for-profit arena to use his business and financial skills in the nonprofit world as a servant leader. In the years since joining CPLC, he has become rooted in his community, advising other community development organizations and serving on nonprofit boards of directors. He and the two other senior officers at CPLC have begun a rotation of jobs as a hands-on leadership development undertaking. Quintana’s goal is to become a nonprofit CEO.
The skills for Martin Quintana’s job as chief operating office are different from the technical and analytical leadership skills he honed as CFO. With his sabbatical, he will work on acquiring leadership, interpersonal and strategy development skills required for expanding programs. He will take a number of courses: the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford University; the Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management at Harvard University; and Developing the Strategic Leader and Leadership for Organizational Impact at the Center for Creative Leadership. The intent of his sabbatical is to become a stronger leader contributing to Chicanos Por La Causa as a more cohesive and effective service organization.
2010 Piper Fellow Avein Saaty-Tafoya
“My work in the healthcare field and my private life and values flow into one another because I believe in the health center movement as a matter of social justice.”
– Avein Saaty-Tafoya, Adelante Healthcare
After college, Avein Saaty-Tafoya was a medical student for three years. She was deeply affected by the numbers of uninsured patients and the socioeconomics that forced so many underserved patients to choose between healthcare and other basic needs. She chose to pursue population-based medicine and worked for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Immunization Program. She was a bridge between clinicians and administrators by translating their mutual goals in improving community health. She then worked in the federally qualified community health centers and became CEO of Adelante Healthcare in 2006. Her five-year goal is to create a collaborative healthcare network with the capacity to serve over 100,000 underserved patients.
Avein Saaty-Tafoya’s objective is to become a transformative leader to take the health center to a “healthcare future that most in our industry cannot imagine being attainable.” To enhance her leadership skills, she has planned a balanced sabbatical: an internship at the Henry Ford Health System in West Bloomfield, Michigan, to experience patient care ranked in the top 1 percent in the nation; courses in Executive Nonprofit Leadership, Business Strategies for Environmental Sustainability and Project Management at the Stanford University Center of Social Innovation; and a retreat for personal growth at Esalen Center, where she will contemplate and paint the ocean and cliffs at Big Sur, California.
2010 Piper Fellow Julie Zalimas
“I have worked with children in schools, group homes and communities–wherever I have been needed. There I learned that every family has strengths, despite their struggles and their differences.”
– Julie Zalimas, EMPACT – Suicide Prevention Center
Julie Zalimas has worked with children most of her life but it was the success of creating a well-managed learning environment for 32 three-year-olds as a young woman that set her on the path of working with children professionally. She began at EMPACT in 1995 as a behavioral management specialist and has moved to other positions in the children’s services area. A career-altering experience began in 2001 when the State of Arizona’s focus moved away from isolating and treating children in treatment facilities to using a wraparound model based on assisting families to become “experts in caring for their own children.” She received the “Karl Dennis Unconditional Care — Champion of Families Award” from the National Federation of Families in 2006.
With the recent changes to national healthcare, EMPACT anticipates a significant increase in the number of children qualifying for behavioral health services, and the department Julie Zalimas supervises will grow substantially. Her goal is to implement a change strategy wide agency to serve more families and children. Her sabbatical will include: the Wharton Leadership Journey at the Wharton Financial College of the University of Pennsylvania; the Managing Teams for Innovation and Success at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; the Getting Below the Surface program at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business; and the Breakthrough to Prime seminar at the Adizes Institute in California.